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 Post subject: Appeal decision letter
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:30 pm 
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Hi Etienne, SallyAnne,
We have recieved our appeal decision letter which within two pages manages not to tell us anything, apart from the fact our appeal was unsuccessful!
I have sent a copy to the appeals box with background info, and would be grateful for any input from you.
Kind regards,
ariel


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:58 pm 
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Hi Ariel

Sorry to hear your news.

I'm afraid it would be very difficult to raise comparisons with other appellants' cases, because (1) there is no provision for challenging the panel's judgement, and (2) there would be data protection issues.

What matters is whether there were any procedural errors in your case that were so serious as to cause an injustice.

The answer given by the school rep. with regard to the criteria may have been incomplete, but the admission arrangements appear to have been correctly applied in your case with regard to the score.

An appeal panel must consider whether the admission rules have been correctly applied, but in its own decisions it is not bound by those admission rules. It is free to exercise its own judgement.

The decision letter ought to have stated whether the admission arrangements were considered to be lawful (but this omission will probably be seen as a technicality, rather than as something that led to an injustice).

My two concerns are:
1. It is not clear what decision the panel took with regard to whether your child was deemed to be of the 'required academic standard' (as set out in 3.13 of the Code).
2. In saying at the end that your case was not strong enough, it is not clear what was being balanced against the prejudice to the school. Are they referring to your reasons for wanting a place (which are nowhere to be found in the letter)?

If you get the clerk's notes, we may be in a better position to judge whether there are any grounds for a complaint.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:49 pm 
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Thank you for your time Etienne. Will await the Clerk's notes!

ariel


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:19 pm 
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Dear Etienne,
We have finally recieved the clerk's notes - I have sent them to the appeals box.
Your opinion would be gratefully recieved.
ariel


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 10:21 pm 
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Dear Ariel

The notes look quite good on the whole. With individual stage ones, it doesn't surprise me that something that wasn't said finishes up in the notes!
A couple of points that you raised might have been omitted, but the notes are not required to be verbatim, so this is probably acceptable provided that the points were not crucial. (Even so, it would be difficult to prove the omission!)

The panel's deliberations show that they concluded that your daughter is of the required academic standard. They appear to have decided that the school had not entirely made its case (this is sometimes called 'part prejudice'), and that another 8 children could be admitted without prejudice. They compared cases with a view to upholding those that were strongest in accordance with 3.9 of the Code. (Having read your presentation, I happen to think that you put forward a very good case. What we don't know is just how compelling the other cases were - and I'm afraid you're unlikely to get any explanation why your case was not one of the strongest, as this is a largely subjective judgement on the part of the panel, and, as I mentioned before, there are data protection issues in relation to the other children.)

I wouldn't want to raise your hopes, but I think you should ask the EFA to clarify the panel's decision-making process for the following reason:

    1. If the panel decided that 8 children could be admitted without prejudice, then they are required to allow at least that number of appeals.
    If they decided that your case was not one of the 8 strongest - a judgement that we cannot challenge - they should then have gone on to consider whether or not your case outweighed the prejudice to the school. The decision letter states "The panel did not accept that your case was sufficiently compelling to outweigh [the prejudice]" - but the clerk's notes do not say this (they refer to a comparison with other cases).

    2. The clerk's notes include the statement that there were "several cases which merited admission .......... but the school could not cope with that number of successful appeals" - but this comes before the decision that an additional 8 pupils could be admitted without prejudice!

    3. Either the case failed because it did not outweigh the prejudice to the school - or it did outweigh the prejudice, but the panel judged the school could not cope with that number of successful appeals. It cannot be both, and it is surely not acceptable to have a decision letter that is at variance with the clerk's notes of how the panel arrived at their decision?

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:36 pm 
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Etienne,
Thats so helpful - thank you very much.
ariel x


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:00 pm 
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You're welcome. :)

I would add one more sentence:
    4. The panel seem to have focused entirely on comparing cases in order to fill the extra 8 places. There is no clear evidence that they then considered whether our individual case actually outweighed the prejudice to the school.

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Etienne


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:55 am 
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That hadn't occurred to us, but yes I can see that now.
I believe that they allow exactly 8 appeals every year, as a matter of course, so I suppose they don't then bother weighing up individual cases against prejudice.


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